KSAT: Website aims to make pollution permit information more accessible in Houston

KSAT: Website aims to make pollution permit information more accessible in Houston. “The new website, called AirMail and launched Tuesday, automatically assembles data from across [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality]’s labyrinthine website so that ordinary people and community groups can easily see where polluting projects are planned, file official comments and request public hearings.”

Houston Chronicle: Inside the viral video trend that made Houston-area school children the face of Iranian propaganda

Houston Chronicle: Inside the viral video trend that made Houston-area school children the face of Iranian propaganda . “Iranian state-sponsored media and pundits have been sharing a video of Houston-area children singing a popular new religious song that includes references to Iran’s supreme leader — and mentions soldiers and martyrdom.”

Environmental Defense Fund: New Tool Shows Air Pollution’s Path

Environmental Defense Fund: New Tool Shows Air Pollution’s Path. “Environmental Defense Fund today unveiled Air Tracker, a first-of-its-kind web-based tool that allows users to plot the likely path of air pollution. Run on real-time, trusted scientific models and coupled with air pollution and weather data and developed in partnership with the University of Utah and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Air Tracker helps users learn more about the air they’re breathing, including pollution concentrations and its potential sources.” Currently only available for Houston, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh, which is why it’s under Research instead of New Resources.

Houston Public Media: Houston hospitals are seeing a COVID-19 uptick fueled by the omicron variant

Houston Public Media: Houston hospitals are seeing a COVID-19 uptick fueled by the omicron variant. “Methodist confirmed a total of 307 positive COVID-19 tests on Monday and Tuesday of this week, according to the hospital. That’s up from 76 positive tests reported last Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, the hospital confirmed on Wednesday that 54 cases of the omicron variant have been identified by Methodist’s sequencing lab since early December. The seven-day rolling average last week was around 40 new cases a day, according to Dr. Marc Boom, Methodist president and CEO.”

‘Dark times’: Houston’s fourth COVID-19 wave to be the largest yet, medical leaders predict (Houston Chronicle)

Houston Chronicle: ‘Dark times’: Houston’s fourth COVID-19 wave to be the largest yet, medical leaders predict. “In the Houston area, the previous record for COVID hospitalizations was 2,927 people on Jan. 8. The consortium’s latest model predicts that record will be broken Aug. 8. The previous record for ICU patients — 947, set July 18, 2020 — is predicted to be broken Aug. 15. Even more alarmingly, the surge isn’t predicted to level off there, but to keep climbing sharply. By the end of August, the consortium forecasts that roughly 2,000 people will be in Houston ICUs — double the previous high.”

Culture Map Houston: Smokin’ new website makes it easy to explore Houston’s barbecue scene

Culture Map Houston: Smokin’ new website makes it easy to explore Houston’s barbecue scene . “A new website wants to help Houstonians eat better barbecue. Created by the founders of the Houston BBQ Festival, the Houston BBQ Guide offers readers the ability to search for restaurants based on a wide range of criteria, including location, parking, and whether a restaurant is likely to sell out of food.”

Houston Chronicle: Houston is first city to record all major COVID strains, new study finds

Houston Chronicle: Houston is first city to record all major COVID strains, new study finds. “Since the virus was first detected in the Houston region nearly a year ago, [Dr. James] Musser’s team has sequenced more than 20,000 genomes of COVID-19. The most recent batch of roughly 3,000 genomes sequenced from patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 included variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.”

Houston Chronicle: Ann Criswell, Houston Chronicle food editor for three decades, dies at 87

Houston Chronicle: Ann Criswell, Houston Chronicle food editor for three decades, dies at 87. “Ann Criswell, who shaped the Houston Chronicle’s food and home cooking coverage for more than three decades and championed Houston’s dining scene as it grew to prominence, died Dec. 15. She was 87. Criswell died of complications from COVID-19, which she contracted while a resident of an assisted living home in College Station.”

Houston Had an All-American Pandemic Response: Ignore Until It’s Too Late (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Houston Had an All-American Pandemic Response: Ignore Until It’s Too Late. “I’m from Houston, but I was supposed to be back only briefly this spring before returning to Brazil, where I’ve lived and worked for much of the past decade. Instead, with my return on hold, I found myself spending months wandering an uncannily quiet, traffic-less city. As the bad news mounted, I saw Houston fumble to grasp the gravity of the situation. With temperatures rising high enough that the air above the asphalt wobbled, Houston slipped into a delusional state, a kind of public-health fever dream.”

Washington Post: Houston, Miami, other cities face mounting health care worker shortages as infections climb

Washington Post: Houston, Miami, other cities face mounting health care worker shortages as infections climb. “Shortages of health care workers are worsening in Houston, Miami, Baton Rouge and other cities battling sustained covid-19 outbreaks, exhausting staffers and straining hospitals’ ability to cope with spiking cases. That need is especially dire for front-line nurses, respiratory therapists and others who play hands-on, bedside roles where one nurse is often required for each critically ill patient.”

VERIFY: Houston newspaper did publish 43 pages of obituaries, but it was a quarterly advertising section (KHOU)

Thanks to Harriet S. for emailing me and correcting my screwup. Being human, I will mess up, but I try to let you know ASAP when I do. KHOU: VERIFY: Houston newspaper did publish 43 pages of obituaries, but it was a quarterly advertising section. “Thousands of people have been sharing social media posts that say the Houston Chronicle’s obituary section was 43 pages over the weekend. Many are linking the death announcements to the rise in local coronavirus cases. The problem is that conclusion is based on bad information.”

Preview: A new digital map is your guide to Houston’s murals

Preview: A new digital map is your guide to Houston’s murals. “The site is a project of UP Art Studio, a for-profit firm that has curated hundreds of civic commissions, including the Mini-Murals program on traffic boxes in Houston and Austin. Many UP Art projects populate the site to start, but the map is crowd-sourced, so others can add to it.” The site contains information on over 800 murals.

‘We opened too quickly, too soon’: Mayor Turner proposes a shutdown as city’s COVID-19 case count rises (Click2Houston)

Click2Houston: ‘We opened too quickly, too soon’: Mayor Turner proposes a shutdown as city’s COVID-19 case count rises. “Texas set a record on Saturday, reporting 10,351 new cases, the Associated Press reported. A record 10,083 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, while 99 new fatalities were also reported Saturday. The total is second only to the record 105 reported Thursday and brought the state’s overall death toll to 3,112. On Saturday, the City of Houston reported 1,524 new cases and nine deaths. It is the second time in less than a week that the city has reported over 1,000 new cases in a single day.”